EAST LANSING, Mich. – Freshman outside hitter Taylah Holdem deposited 21 kills on Sunday afternoon as the Michigan State volleyball program dispatched North Carolina in four sets, 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15), from the Breslin Student Events Center. Holdem’s 21 kills are the most by an MSU freshman since Jenilee Rathje’s 24 against Cal Poly in 2008. Rathje’s mark came during a five-set match, while Holdem reached 21 kills in four.
“The thing that impressed me most about the team today was our fight,” said Michigan State head volleyball coach Leah Johnson. “We had been pushing for that to turn on for an entire match and I loved it.”
The Spartans used Sunday’s victory to improve their record to 5-3 entering next weekend’s Dog Pound Challenge in Storrs, Conn.
Michigan State out-hit North Carolina .257 to .110 overall, finishing the match with more kills (46 to 36), more assists (44 to 30), more aces (12 to 8) and more digs (43 to 36) than the Tar Heels. UNC hit sub-.100 in each of the final two sets, including a -.100 mark in set four.
— Michigan State Volleyball (@MSU_Volleyball) September 10, 2023
Holdem’s 21 kills led all players as she also tallied six digs and a block. Senior libero Nalani Iosia posted her first double-double of the season with 10 assists and 14 digs, while freshman Cameron Berger had a match-high 30 assists. Sophomore middle blocker Evie Doezema paced the Spartans with three blocks while adding six kills on nine attempts to hit .667 for the match.
“Taylah Holdem was phenomenal today, we give her a high volume and I was really proud of how she took big aggressive swings every chance she had,” said Johnson.
MSU opened the match in an early hole trailing 7-2 before Johnson was forced to call a timeout to make an adjustment. Out of the break the Spartans turned the tides going on a 10-4 run to take a 13-11 lead and force UNC to call for time. MSU tallied three blocks over that 10-4 stretch with junior Aliyah Moore, sophomore Nil Okur, Doezema, Holdem and Berger all contributing at the net. North Carolina would cut the lead back to one, 20-19, on a service ace, but the Spartans would close the set out on a 5-1 run to take the first.